Takata considering trimming air bag operations – Kyodo News

TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Takata Corp is considering trimming its global air bag operations, including consolidating production plants in Europe and shedding overseas jobs, Kyodo News reported.

The move would be part of a restructuring plan by the Japanese firm which is struggling with a global recall of potentially faulty airbag inflators, the report said.

Takata could also sell some non-core businesses as part of a plan to raise money to pay for the cost of recalling about 50 million vehicles due to exploding air bags, which has caused at least 10 deaths so far, it said.

A Takata spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, which pushed shares in the company to a one-week high on Thursday.

Investigators are trying to identify the root cause of the defective air bags. If Takata, which has been criticised for the way it has handled the recalls, is found to be liable for the defect, it could leave the company with a recall bill already estimated at more than $3 billion.

Automakers including Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp, which have to-date been paying for replacement air bags, could also take this as a cue to cut off financial lifelines to Takata.

Reuters last month reported that Takata Chairman and CEO Shigehisa Takada was willing to step down and take responsibility for the recalls as part of wider management reforms within the company.

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